Shonda Rimes, the prolific showrunner behind Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal and How To Get Away With Murder, has jumped from ABC to Netflix.
The streaming giant with the deep pockets scores again. It has been on a spending spree with previous deals with Robert Kirkman (The Walking Dead), David Letterman and comic book publisher Millarworld. And despite the risks involved — Rimes’ latest shows The Catch and Still Star-Crossed were bombs — there will be more movement as broadcast networks try to hold onto big-name talent.
Rimes discussed her decision with The Wall Street Journal, hinting that the fundamental differences between making a show for a broadcaster and for a streamer — fewer episodes with no commercials and greater storytelling freedom (sex, swearing!) — drove her to depart.
“I’m thrilled by the idea of a world where I’m not caught in the necessary grind of network television.”
The view from Vulture’s Josef Adalian:
“For some Hollywood creatives, particularly those at the peak of their careers, offers of big bucks and promises of creative autonomy aren’t enough to overcome the view that network television is now the least attractive medium in which to work. Rhimes didn’t just leave ABC. She left network TV…”